Petaluma made a commitment to become age-friendly when it joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly cities in early 2020. Age-Friendly is a world-wide movement focused on creating livable communities for people of all ages.
Age-Friendly was formalized by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2006 and AARP launched their program in 2012 to support the effort in this country. To date, 798 communities and 10 states in the U.S. have pledged to develop more livable communities that support people of all ages.
Eight Domains for Age-Friendly Living
The WHO initially identified eight individual domains of livability that influence the quality of life for older adults, who have historically been neglected and discriminated against in youth-obsessed societies. The eight domains have been incorporated into the Age Friendly City designation as a framework to help guide cities and counties in deciding what community features have the biggest impact on the well-being of older adults and the overall community. The eight domains include:
- Community and Health Services – Support livable communities aimed at improving physical and mental health, reducing social pathology, and strengthening social immune systems.
- Communication and Information –Access to affordable high-speed internet services. Information disseminated through diverse channels. Technology and educational workshops.
- Civic Participation and Employment – Supportive services for senior employment programs. Skills training, educational opportunities, and tax aide support.
- Respect and Social Inclusion – Intergenerational activities, strategies to support the aging LGBT community, support of the cultural arts.
- Social Participation – Availability of accessible, affordable and engaging social activities.
- Housing – Dwellings designed or modified to help residents age in place across socio-economic classes. Encourage visibility to ensure ease of access for people with mobility challenges.
- Transportation – Public transit options, pedestrian safety, bicycle master plan, complete streets, specialized transportation.
- Outdoor Spaces and Buildings – Public places to gather. Green spaces, safe streets, sidewalks, outdoor seating and accessible buildings.
Petaluma’s Age-Friendly Action Plan!
The city’s Age-Friendly Action Plan has been submitted to AARP, based on input from a community survey, recommendations from a broad array of community stakeholders and interviews with city staff members. The plan touches on housing, communications and technology, transportation and streets, health and community services, social and civic engagement, and community spaces. Click the corresponding image below or download the Action Plan here. Those interested in details from the Age-Friendly Needs Assessments report can click the corresponding image below or download the report here.
A stakeholder Age-Friendly Working Group has been established to support and monitor efforts to maintain progress toward our goals. Given its impacts across many facets of community life, the Age-Friendly Action Plan will inform the General Plan Update, Active Transportation Plan, Blue Print for Carbon Neutrality and the Petaluma Blue Zones project among others. The city’s Senior Advisory Committee will also be actively engaged in promoting Age-Friendly Petaluma. Want to get involved? For more information on Age-Friendly Petaluma, contact Kris Rebillot at [email protected].